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LEWISBURG, Pa. – Nine Bucknell University undergraduate students will soon begin posting online updates about their academic adventures on four different continents.
The student bloggers – the newest crop to participate in Bucknell’s Study Abroad Blog – begin leaving in early January for destinations as diverse as Egypt and Argentina and Russia and China. The majors they represent are just as diverse – from civil and environmental engineering and psychology to economics and international relations.
“Ever since I was in high school, I have always known I wanted to study in Italy,” said Genna Jerrard, Class of ’10, a comparative humanities major whose minors are international relations and Italian. “While I’m abroad, I would absolutely love the opportunity to see Northern Africa or Egypt.”
Fourth group of bloggers
The new bloggers are the fourth group to join the study abroad blog team. Selected in a competitive process, each is equipped with a digital camera to round out their posts with pictures and, for the tech savvy, short video clips.
The Study Abroad Blog has proven a hit with readers. Since the first team of bloggers hit the road in July 2007, the blog has registered more than 31,000 visits and more than 250 student posts. Study abroad, too, is an important ingredient in the Bucknell experience. More than 40 percent of Bucknell’s students study off campus sometime during their academic careers.
(Our fall 2008 bloggers are now winding down their adventures at Study Abroad Blog.)
“I’m most excited about my Art and Architecture class,” said Danielle Renzi, Class of ’10, a mechanical engineering major who will study in the Czech Republic. “This class will embody engineering, architecture and travel all in one course. This class will make my study abroad experience perfect.”
Management major Peggy Shum, Class of ’10, has set herself a goal for while she studies in China and Hong Kong.
“I want to be 100 percent fluent in Cantonese by the time I get back,” Shum said. “What’s great is that although Mandarin is the dominant language in China, Cantonese is widely spoken in Hong Kong. I’ll have the opportunity to really immerse myself.”
Corey Schwitz, Class of ’10, an economics and political science major who is a Spanish minor, will be situated in both Argentina and Peru during his semester of off-campus study. Asked what would make a great study abroad experience, he said, “Two things. I need to take a picture with a llama at Machu Picchu and I need to make a life-long friend from one of the countries I will be studying in.”
Barbados is the study destination for Stephanie Quinn, Class of ’10, an English major with a concentration in creative writing. “I don’t want to be just another tourist,” said Quinn. “I don’t want my semester to be a sightseeing checklist.”
Lindsay Baker, Class of ’11, an international relations major with a minor in peace studies, will call Cairo, Egypt, home. She, too, is Bucknell’s first U.S. Army ROTC student to study abroad.
Connection with people
“I want to be stranded in a very culturally distinct situation,” she said. “The direct connection with people who share their traditions with me, even if it is inhibited by language differences, is beautiful.”
Vladimir, Russia, will be Sarah Beckham Hooff’s destination while abroad. The Class of 2010 Russia area studies and environmental science major is a tutor for Russian-speaking children in the Bucknell Buddies program. “Being able to use my Russian language skills to help the children and their parents adjust to life in America has been amazingly rewarding,” said Hooff.
And she said she isn’t looking for a shallow exchange experience while in Russia.
“I think it is important to make real and lasting connections with the people around you,” said Hooff. “I challenge myself to make the most of my exchange by deeply appreciating the people and places of Vladimir.”
Others spring 2009 bloggers are Joe Hopkins, Class of ’10, a psychology and Spanish major. He’ll make Argentina his home base. And Randy Gowat, Class of ’10, a civil and environmental engineering major, will be in Australia.
Contact: Division of Communications